Get Certified

Earn your Permaculture Design Certificate



This 3-week course will teach you the foundations of permaculture training in a hands-on and practical way.  Not only will you learn in a classroom setting, but you will also have the hands on experience on site at The Blue River Forest Experience (BRFE).  BRFE is a nature sanctuary and to teach and implement permaculture practices.  The area is rich in history and was the main campground of the Black Bob Chief, a Native American Shawnee Chief of the “Skipakakamithagi”.  The Blue River comprises the largest watershed in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area.

Each participant will not only have the opportunity to see permaculture in action at this location, but will also travel to other sites selected by course participants to implement what we learn.  Our Permaculture Design Certificate Course (PDC) material was originally developed by Bill Mollison, co-founder of permaculture, to teach the principles and foundations of sustainable design. All PDC courses offered throughout the world must follow the same format to assure that the integrity of the certification process is upheld.

Classes will be held every Saturday from 11am – 5pm, and Sundays from 1 – 5pm (Classroom dates: January 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, and 26).


What you will learn

  1. Permaculture Concepts and Design Themes
  2. Methods of Design (zones, orientation, contour, etc.)
  3. Understanding Patterns in Nature (use of swales, water catchment, 3rd world design)
  4. Gardening Climates & Zones:  Using Local Knowledge in the Midwest
  5. Trees & Perennial Systems
  6. Food Forest Ecosystems in the Midwest
  7. Water (catchment, dams, swales, urban systems)
  8. Soils (basic elements, understanding pH, microorganisms, fertility, composting)
  9. Earthworks (contour banks, stop-spread-soak, water harvesting)
  10. Climate Designs (humid, drylands, cold-climate)
  11. Strategies for Implementation
  12. Reading the Landscape (understanding key-point, middle slopes, establishing features in your designs)
  13. Permaculture Chickens

Dates, Times, and Class Info

Classes will be held every Saturday and Sunday for three consecutive weeks.  This schedule allows you to maintain a normal work schedule and family life while taking the course.  Children are welcome to attend, but must not disrupt the course teaching times.  Participants seeking to earn certification are allowed only ONE absence, which must be arranged with the instructor in order to get access to any missed material.

Participants should also plan on the following:

  • Attending at least one additional Perma-Bliz practicums (hosted on a Friday evening) , which will be held at the property of a separate permaculture site.
  • Completing the required permaculture design project before the end of the course.  These individual projects vary in length and depth, and are only required for those seeking to walk away with certification.
  • Minimum of 8 work hours in the 3 week course on a site of their choosing.  This may be their own properties or that of another student, a local garden or community space, or a neighbor.  This work must be on a volunteer basis, and participants  cannot NOT be paid for their labor.


Your Instructor

Kris Edler, trained by Geoff Lawton, has been teaching permaculture since 2013, and has been an organic urban gardener in Kansas City since 2006.  He has been trained via the Permaculture Research Institute and continues annual training via PRI on a regular basis.

At a minimum, this course will meet the following criteria (in accordance with PRI certification):

– The lead instructor is an established permaculture teacher with a college degree, or equal credentials.  The lead instructor is present throughout the entire course and course certificate bears his/her signature.

– The course provides a minimum of 72 hours of direct contact with instructor(s), in addition to group design time, homework assignments, self-study time, hands-on projects, visits to demonstration sites and other learning activities.

– Course material is inclusive of, but not limited to, all subjects listed in the PDC Online (via PRI)

– Course includes at least one design project exercise or multiple design vignettes.


Participants of Permaculture Design Courses that meet the criteria above receive Permaculture Design Certificates from their lead instructor(s) upon completion of the course.The certificate attests that the recipient has acquired certain knowledge of the subject, and it enables the recipient to start using the word “permaculture” in their livelihood and professional practice.

When using permaculture strictly in their personal lives, students are able to begin applying their knowledge right away.



Persons who acquire substantial practical experience, achieve excellence in their professional permaculture practice and meet certain additional education requirements, are ready to apply for the Permaculture Certification.

Persons who wish to teach PDC as lead instructors must have a Permaculture Diploma to do so. Co-teachers and guest instructors do not need a Permaculture Diploma.